The Splinterlands Tournament system has unlocked a number of new features over the last several weeks, which allow us another round of fine tuning the tournaments. As a result we're updating the tournament schedule.
The "monster" schedule above is the rotating schedule of tournament events. It allows for regular foil and gold foil tournaments of many arrangements. It's a two week rotation and special tournaments like Brawler and promotional ones are added on top of it as available. Effort has been made to spread the various formats around with a concentration of some of the largest tournaments on the weekends when more people have free time.
The tournaments represent about 15% of the prize pool given away by Splinterlands every month. If you look at the schedule you'll notice there's roughly the same number of UNTAMED tournaments as classic and Alpha tournaments. This is to ensure that new players have opportunities to earn. However, payouts are based on collection power so while there's an equal number of opportunities for tournaments there's a large discrepency in tournament payout values. This is because UNTAMED or UNTAMED + DICE tournaments have a much smaller collection power requirement and so the payout is much smaller as well. The end result is that the number of tournaments are the same, but players with a range of cards and not just current edition are eligible for about 4 times as many rewards.
In the following chart you'll find the payouts of all the different tournament types. In the past it's been a little ad hoc how much each tournament should make, but going forward it's based primarily on Collection Power. It's not strictly Collection Power, but the updated tournament system uses Collection Power as the basis of tournament payouts and entry fees and adjusts in a couple of cases.
So, what did we do?
First we calculated the maximum Collection Power for each of the different tournament types that we run (thanks @byzantinist). Maximum collection power represents the collection power you would have if you owned every card at the highest level limit for a set of rules. Then, for regular foil tournaments we set a minimum of 20% of the collection power + the correct league as the requirement to enter that tournament for free. For gold foil it's 10% of the maximum collection power + earning the minimum league to enter it for the tournament to be free.
Then there's a modifier to collection power. Low level tournaments were given a pretty large boost to help attract new players and keep tournament prizes at a level that make leveling and participating appealing. That said, low level tournament pool prizes are reduced from previous levels. This is made possible by the higher fee to enter for higher ranked players. This system better ensures that the prize money is going to new players instead of experienced players playing opponents who are new to Splinterlands. We think this allows us to reduce the tournament prize pool and also get more into the hands of new players.
Gold foil tournaments have a modifier. This modifier exists because gold foil cards get the benefits of the regular foil tournaments as well. So, the gold foil use in gold foil tournaments is a bonus on top of using a gold foil card in regular foil tournaments. By lowering some the payout and collection power it also opens up tournaments to new and more players.
Diamond level tournaments were reduced by 20% for both collection power and payout compared to champion level matches. It reflects a lower expectation on the players and thus a lower payout to the players.
We reserve $2750 per week for regular tournaments. Then we have a $1000/month Brawler. Using $5500/2 weeks we calculated the amount of money available. Then we used the adjusted Collection Power amount of each tournament to determine value per tournament. The result can be seen in Row Z.
First off, if you have the collection power and attained the league level then Splinterlands tournaments are free and will remain free (technically 10 dec, but that's just a mild deterrent for spam additions). The exception is low league tournaments where we're working to foster a good environment for new players to help grow the game.
For players who don't have the rank or the collection power there is the option to pay to enter a tournament. Additionally, if you're well above the rank, but are looking for something to do you can pay a fee and enter the low level tournaments.
Generally speaking the amount players will pay in this system to enter a tournament is 1% of the prize pool with a cap of 5000 DEC. Most of the tournaments are between 500 DEC and 3000 DEC with only a handful of tournaments beyond that.
In some of the lower level tournaments the fee to join has been vastly increased. This is meant to deter experienced players from obliterating newbs.
The number of payout spots ranges from 128 to 16. Low league any edition formats attract hundreds of players and it's appropriate to give awards to many players. UNTAMED only or UNTAMED + DICE especially at the higher league levels have fewer players and so fewer winners will be awarded. Generally speaking, the goal is to award roughly 15-25% of the players in a tournament.
Call for Feedback
We're not planning many changes to the tournament system that we use to generate official splinterlands tournaments in 2021. That said, we do plan to make a number of adjustments to facilitate player generated tournaments in Q1. So, for now, it's likely these changes may stand for a number of months (greatly reducing the chance of manual errors). If you have questions or concerns about these numbers please put them in the comments below or message @aggroed in Discord.
The new tournaments are planned to go into effect in for January.
Special thanks to the handful of people that reviewed the changes and the text of this post for a day or so before we posted here.